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How Ford Wrestled ‘Sexy’ Back From Musk in Tussle Over Trademark

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

Ford Motor Co.’s use of Model e as the name of its new electric-vehicle unit comes eight years after dashing Elon Musk’s hopes for a provocatively named lineup of cars from Tesla Inc.

“A friend asked me at a party, ‘What are you going to name the third-generation car?’ Well, we have the S and the X, so we might as well make it the E,” the Tesla chief executive officer told CNNMoney in 2014.